A's coach interviews for manager job

November 1st, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: A's coach interviews for manager job


OAKLAND, Calif. - Longtime Athletics third-base coach Ron Washington interviewed for the club's managerial opening for close to 3 1/2 hours Tuesday and deemed the meeting with Oakland general manager Billy Beane a success.
"It went extremely well. It was a very relaxing situation and we covered a various number of topics," Washington said in a phone interview before flying home to New Orleans. "I've been with them for 11 years. How much more can I impress them? Now we'll just wait and see what they're looking for."
Washington followed bench coach Bob Geren, who on Monday became the first candidate to sit down with Beane and other team officials in the search to replace fired skipper Ken Macha. Washington and Geren are the only two internal candidates. Both also interviewed a year ago when the A's briefly parted ways with Macha before re-signing him about a week later.
Beane is set to interview Japan Series championship manager Trey Hillman on Wednesday, Colorado Rockies bench coach Jamie Quirk on Nov. 7, then Orel Hershiser - currently an ESPN baseball analyst - the next day in Phoenix.
Hillman was scheduled to interview with the Texas Rangers about their managerial job Tuesday and is due to interview with San Diego on Thursday. The Padres' job opened when Bruce Bochy left last week to become San Francisco's new skipper.
The A's are also expected to interview Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Bud Black late in the process if he is still available. Because he is employed by another club, Oakland would have only a seven-day window to negotiate with Black, also considered a leading candidate to replace Bochy.
Beane fired Macha on Oct. 16, two days after Oakland's season ended in a sweep by the wild-card Detroit Tigers in the AL championship series. The A's won a playoff series for the first time since 1990, ending a string of four straight first-round exits from 2000-03.
The 54-year-old Washington, who played parts of 10 seasons in the majors as an infielder for five teams, just completed his 11th season as an A's infield coach. He is popular with the players and has been instrumental in the development of five-time Gold Glove third baseman Eric Chavez - not to mention Mark Ellis, Miguel Tejada and Jason Giambi.
Chavez presented his third Gold Glove to Washington, who began coaching in the New York Mets organization in 1991 and later managed their Class-A club.
"The only thing I actually told them is I think I would be able to communicate and I have the respect of the players and they have my respect," Washington said. "We talked about making sure we cover all the routine stuff and don't take that for granted. We talked about baserunning, personnel and philosophies."
Washington also interviewed with Texas on Oct. 17 and met last offseason with the Florida Marlins about their managerial opening.
He said he expects Oakland's process to take time, and believes it will only benefit the A's to talk to candidates outside the organization, too.
"They're just trying to make sure they get all the candidates they can in there and a lot of different perspectives," he said. "(Bob and I) have a great idea of what they're expecting but getting some fresh ideas from outside the organization might make their job easier - or tougher."
Also Tuesday, A's ace Barry Zito filed for free agency. Zito, a 28-year-old left-hander with a coveted, looping curveball, went 16-10 with a 3.83 ERA in 34 starts this season.
He never missed a start because of injury in his first seven major league seasons with Oakland, which acknowledged before the 2006 season it probably wouldn't be able to afford the 2002 AL Cy Young award winner once he became a free agent.

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